My first encounter with Kushti (wrestling) was some ten years back when I went to watch ‘dangal’ a form of wrestling, with my uncle
It was not a good experience at all!
Dirt, smell and sweat were stick to my mind. But the audience didn’t notice at all. They were cheering, laughing and supporting their teams. They were enjoyoing each and every moment of it.
The news of win or defeat of a famous pahlwaan used to spread like fire.
Being a ‘pahlwaan’ (wrestler) was once a source of pride and distinction. A pahlwaan was encouraged and respected. He was a source of pride for the community as well. My uncle was a pahlwaan some 15-20 years ago but he still uses the word ‘pahlwaan’ with his name. People also call him pahlwaan rather than his name.
But this trend is declining now. Fruits, dry fruits, milk and other food which is necessary for a healthy body is becoming more costly day by day. People now watch WWF matches sitting in their Air Conditioned room. Who would suffer in heat and dirt?
But still in some areas people or opting it. My classfellow. Shahid is also becoming a pahlwaan. I wish him best of luck. May he have a good audience!